注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

多则惑 少则明

顾明的博客

 
 
 
 
 

日志

 
 

声色经济学  

2008-01-23 15:58:39|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

Selling sex

Jan 17th 2008
From The Economist print edition

Economists let some light in on the shady阴暗 market for paid sex


Illustration by Jac声色经济学 - bldr - Georges blog

IT IS all too easy to become a lost soul in New Orleans. The annual meeting of the American Economic Association this month was part of a huge gathering of social scientists sprawled across the city. Each venue集合地点 itself was a warren大杂院 of meeting rooms. Take a wrong turning and a delegate seeking an earnest symposium讨论会 on minimum wages might innocently end up in the conference session devoted to the market for paid sex.

The star attraction there was Steven Levitt, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and co-author of “Freakonomics”魔鬼经济学, a best-selling book. Mr Levitt presented preliminary初步的 findings* from a study conducted with Sudhir Venkatesh, a sociologist at Columbia University. Their research on the economics of street prostitution色情交易 combines official arrest records with data on 2,200 “tricks” (transactions汇报), collected by Mr Venkatesh in co-operation with sex workers in three Chicago districts.

The results are fascinating. Almost half of the city's arrests for prostitution take place in just 0.3% of its street corners. The industry is concentrated in so few locations because prostitutes and their clients need to be able to find each other. Earnings are high compared with other jobs. Sex workers receive $25-30 per hour, roughly four times what they could expect outside prostitution. Yet this wage premium奖金 seems paltry不足取的/琐碎的 considering the stigma耻辱 and inherent risks. Sex without a condom安全套 is the norm, so the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is high. Mr Levitt reckons that sex workers can expect to be violently assaulted once a month. The risk of legal action is low. Prostitutes are more likely to have sex with a police officer than to be arrested by one.

Pricing strategies are much like any other business. Fees vary with the service provided and prostitutes maximise returns by segmenting the market. Clients are charged according to their perceived察觉 ability to pay, with white customers paying more than black ones. When negotiating prices, prostitutes will usually make an offer to black clients, but will solicit诱惑乞求 a bid from a white client. There are some anomalies反常. Although prices increase with the riskiness of an act, the premium charged for forgoing放弃 a condom is much smaller than found in other studies. And attractive prostitutes were unable to command higher fees.

By chance, the authors were able to study the effects of a demand shock. As people gathered for the July 4th festivities around Washington Park (one of the neighbourhoods studied), business picked up by around 60%, though prices rose by just 30%. The market was able to absorb this rise in demand partly because of flexible supply. Regular prostitutes worked more hours and those from other locations were drawn in. So were other recruits—women who were not regular prostitutes but were prepared to work for the higher wages temporarily on offer.

One controversial有争议的 finding发现 is that prostitutes do better with pimps皮条客—they work fewer hours and are less likely to be arrested by the police or preyed on by gang members. The paper's discussant at the conference, Evelyn Korn of Germany's University of Marburg, said that her favourite result from the study was that pimps pay “efficiency wages”. In other words, pimps pay above the minimum rate required by sex workers in order to attract, retain and motivate the best staff. Mr Levitt said that a few prostitutes asked the researchers to introduce them to pimps.

A separate paper** on sex workers in Ecuador厄瓜多尔 echoed some of these findings. As in Chicago, the paid-sex market in Ecuador is tiered多层次的, with licensed brothel workers earning more per hour than unlicensed street prostitutes. These gradations过度 might reflect different tastes: brothel声色场所 workers tend to be younger, more attractive and better educated. They are also slightly less likely to have an STI. Condom use is the norm: 61% of street prostitutes surveyed used a condom in the previous three transactions. In Chicago, condoms were used in only a quarter of tricks.

What about the johns?

These studies contribute to our understanding of the suppliers of paid sex, but tell us little about their customers. The session's organiser, Taggert Brooks of the University of Wisconsin, attempted to fill this gap in knowledge. He shed light on the sex industry's demand side in his analysis? of men who attend strip clubs. He argued that habitués of strip clubs featuring nude or semi-nude dancers are in search of “near-sex”—an experience of intimacy rather than sexual release. They are aware that paid sex is on offer elsewhere, should they desire it.

Strip-club patrons赞助人保护人 are more likely to be college-educated (cue some uneasy seat shifting from conference delegates), to have had an STI, and to have altered their sexual behaviour because of AIDS, than non-patrons are. They are typically unmarried, relatively young (against the stereotype of old married men) and are characterised as “high-sensation seekers”.

Although all speakers at the session were careful not to draw very strong conclusions from preliminary findings, a few broad themes nevertheless emerged. In many respects, the paid-sex industry is much like any other business. Pricing strategies are familiar from other settings. Despite evidence of a myopic attitude towards risk, there have been plenty of recent examples of that in the finance industry too. Illegality and lack of regulation are likely to heighten public-health risks. The Ecuador study concluded that rigorous policing of street prostitution might limit the spread of STIs by directing sex workers into the safer environs of licensed brothels. For an audience facing an evening away from home in the Big Easy, there was much to ponder.

  评论这张
 
阅读(10)| 评论(0)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017